Local lass is off and racing
By MARY MANN
AMY POWER is not going to let a bit of horse flu ruin her dreams of becoming a jockey.
The 18-year-old Wollongbar girl, who has dreamed of riding 'in the big races' since she was a small child, leaves for Rosehill, in Sydney, on Friday to trial for a jockey apprenticeship with Group One winning horse trainer Gerald Ryan.
She has been riding since she was just five and has been working as a strapper and track work rider for Ballina trainers Stephen Lee and Danny Bowen. The recent horse flu outbreak has meant strict regulations, sterilisation and extra care when moving between her own horses and horses on the track.
But Amy said the extra work and the downturn in the industry had not deterred her from becoming a jockey.
Neither had having to give up sweets, the 55kg jockey-hopeful said.
"I have to lose five kilos, because the limit is 55kg, including the saddle," she said.
"Which will mean no chocolate cake for me. But I don't mind, I'd do anything to ride.
"One day I hope to race in the Melbourne Cup."
Amy's dad and grandfather also were jockeys when they were her age, which she said was part of her motivation to be successful in the industry.
She also loves the speed of racing.
"It's so much fun," she said.
Amy learnt to ride a horse at the age of five when she was allowed to ride her neighbour's horse.
When she was seven she got her first horse, Bobby, who is now 15. She also has a horse called Meg, 10.
"They're my practise ponies," Amy said.
"I just love them. I've got a tattoo of Bobby and his name on my lower back, so when I go away I can show people, and I don't miss him so much."